Egypt's Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly
CAIRO - 9 October 2023: Egypt's Prime Minister, Mostafa Madbouly, held a press conference to unveil an ambitious plan aimed at combating the country's surging inflation and the relentless rise in food commodity prices.
In his opening remarks, Madbouly acknowledged that the Egyptian government has faced one of its most pressing challenges in recent times: spiraling inflation that has led to skyrocketing food prices. He emphasized that inflation is a global issue, with nations worldwide grappling with its consequences. However, Madbouly reassured the public that the government is working diligently to implement measures that will help curb this economic strain.
"Part of the problem with high prices for commodities is scarcity of supply," noted Madbouly.
The Prime Minister announced that an agreement had been reached to reduce the prices of seven basic commodities by a range from 15 to 25 percent. The commodities to see significant price reductions include sugar, oil, lentils, dairy products, cheese, and pasta. These price reductions will take effect starting from the upcoming Saturday.
Madbouly disclosed that an agreement had been reached with the Minister of Finance to suspend a number of duties and customs on some production requirements for a period of six months.
Furthermore, prices of live and frozen pourtly and eggs will be reduced by 15 percent. Madbouly expressed confidence that Egypt has the resilience to overcome crises and emerge stronger.
The Prime Minister announced that an agreement had been reached with the private sector, the Federation of Industries, Chambers of Commerce, and commercial chains to ensure that prices are transparently communicated to citizens. The initiative to reduce commodity prices will continue for a period of six months while ongoing evaluations are conducted.
Madbouly stressed that the state is providing significant facilities and exemptions and emphasized that the government will take action to prevent any manipulation or unjustified price increases.
This announcement comes at a time when inflation reached a new record high in August, reaching nearly 40 percent, the highest level in the past two months. The Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) and the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) are scheduled to release inflation data for September on Tuesday.
An opinion poll conducted by Reuters on Sunday showed that Egypt’s urban inflation rate is expected to rise to a new record level in September for the fourth month in a row, with imports continuing to be disrupted due to the shortage of hard currency resulting from the rise of the pound above its real value. The average forecast of eight analysts surveyed was for core inflation, which excludes fuel and some volatile food items, to fall to 40.2 percent from 40.4 percent in August.